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First off today, Kate Brumback of the Associated Press reports that a federal judge has ruled that annotations to Georgia’s legal code can be copyright protected, making their free distribution unlawful.
The lawsuit deals with a non-profit organization, Public.Resource.Org, which was working to make the entirety of the state’s legal code available for free online. They were sued by the state, which argued that annotations to their legal code, which includes legal decisions and other guidance added by third parties, were protected by copyright.
The judge in the case has sided with the state, ruling that the annotated code is protected by copyright and that the organization’s distribution of the code is not a fair use. The judge further ruled that organization benefits greatly from the distribution of the legal code and that the state would be harmed because others would be less willing to pay for copies of the annotated legal code if it were distributed for free.
Next up today, Dominic Patten at Deadline Hollywood reports that a lawsuit against Marvel Comics over Iron Man’s armors has suffered a setback but, much like the hero himself, will continue to do battle.
The lawsuit was filed by Horizon Comics, which claimed that Iron Man’s armor, as featured in the recent films, was an infringement of their comic Radix, which also featured an armor-clad superhero. However, the judge, when reviewing the case, found many dissimilarities between the two sets of armor and tossed the claims over the alleged infringement.
However, the judge has allowed a portion of the case to continue. That portion deals with the poster for Iron Man 3, which features the character in a kneeling “super hero” pose. According to the judge, there is enough similarity between that post and the cover for Radix to allow the case to continue on that front, meaning it may possibly be be heard by a jury down the line.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that the content delivery network CloudFlare has suffered a setback as a Florida Federal Court has ruled that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) does not protect it from anti-piracy injunctions.
The case deals with the piracy-oriented website, MP3Skull, which was sued by the music industry in 2015. Though courts sides with the music studios, awarding them some $22 million in damages, the site proved elusive to shut down. As efforts to close it permanently continued, the studios targeted CloudFlare, which provided CDN services to the site and its many domains.
However, CloudFlare argued that it was protected by the DMCA safe harbor provisions and that its responsibility when dealing with anti-piracy injunctions was limited. According to the judge, the record labels are not trying to hold CloudFlare liable for the copyright infringement, but note that the service is aware of the infringement. As such, according to the court, if it can be shown CloudFlare is an active participant in MP3Skull’s operations, it should comply with the injunction against the site. As for MP3Skull, it ceased operations months ago, meaning that the order will likely have little impact.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.